Our latest Artist You Need To Know is Eugenio Téllez who employs “pictorial strategies and plastic experiments to communicate his vision of the world. In his works he reflects on cultural identity, the Latin American world and complex humanity, using multiple conceptual procedures. Among other subjects, he has taken up the discovery and conquest of America and has also ventured into history in various geographies of the planet, investigating different matters, igneous or aquatic, and mythical characters from various cultures…He resorts to a consistent aesthetic of the fragmentary and discontinuous, of spatial and temporal simultaneities. Their worlds are dismembered, they are fields of forces in conflict, full of explosions that refer to civil, regional and world warlike conflicts.” (from here) Téllez is an internationally acclaimed painter and printmaker.
Eugenio Téllez was born in Santiago, Chile in 1939, and attended the School of Fine Arts at the University of Chile (1957 – 59), but has traveled extensively, often collaborating with artists in the places around the world that he visited. Téllez held a directorial position at the Atelier 17 etching studio in Paris (working in the preparation and production of engraving editions with Alechinsky, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Herold and Gino Severini). In 1962 he was awarded the First Place Prize for Engraving, Biennale de Paris, France. Continuing his interest and acumen in printmaking, in 1969 Téllez was Director of the Ben Shahn Graphic Workshop, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, in Maine (United States). From 1966 to 1968 he served as visiting professor in the Chair of Painting at the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana in the United States. In 1971 Téllez was a juror for the 9th Experimental Film Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as being part of the jury for the International Exhibition of the Graphic Society of Canada in Montreal. From 1970 to 1994 he was a professor of Fine Arts at York University; he was a regular exhibitor at the Marborough Godard Gallery in Toronto, during this period. Currently a Professor Emeritus at York University, his accomplishments have included numerous international exhibitions, including the Paris Biennial (1961), the Havana Biennial (1989) and the Cuenca Biennial (2007).
Téllez’s practice has been described in the following manner: “His works form disparate time and space zones in which atavistic sacrifices and naked warriors coexist with transcontinental missiles and supersonic airplanes, with mockingly childish doodles, comic book sketches or quotations from art history and invented maps. This creates an aesthetic of fragmentation and discontinuity, of simultaneous spaces and times. He mixes personal experiences with universal history in pictograms which incorporate a particular repertory of identifiable icons. The worlds he creates break up, they are battlefields full of explosions….”.(from here).
Téllez’s work is a reflection – a visual story – of the history of Chile, encompassing the foreign coup that removed Salvador Allende and the resulting military junta of Pinochet that engaged in acts of terrorism against its own people. He has stated that his artwork “has a strong relationship with the war. [My] ethical / aesthetic gaze is sustained by melancholy….”(From here).
You can read more about the artist here, from when he exhibited at Art Basel in 2020.